All right, it is October and the Cat is black. But this is an interesting and sometimes useful online resource to know about.
The Cat was prowling restlessly through the stacks. Plaintively, she asked the librarians at the State Library if they could suggest any new toys for her to play with. The Cat’s friend, Rhonda Machlan, suggested she go look at:
Find a Grave is a vast virtual cemetery, where people can visit, gain biographical information, leave tributes, add information and find out where someone is buried, or what happened to their mortal remains. If that is known; sometimes it isn’t.
The site was founded by Jim Tipton, a resident of Salt Lake City, who had a hobby of visiting celebrity grave sites. His stated goal of having a comprehensive listing of the burial places of everyone in the world seems unrealistic. But as of September 2009, the site hosts 36 million records, which is not a bad start.
It is undoubtedly valuable as an online resource for historical, cultural and biographical information. But the Cat is not a reference librarian. She thought it was a great toy.
The Cat proceeded to key in a variety of authors, actors, entertainers and historical figures. She failed to turn up information only occasionally and, in one case, it was because the person wasn’t dead. The articles are not long, in most cases, but they contain good information. It can also be very touching to see the online tributes left to the person, often by people who never knew them.
The Cat was mildly interested to learn where people were buried and to see pictures of cemeteries and gravestones. But she has an endless fascination with human faces. Cats are more beautiful, of course, but they don’t offer the tremendous variety that human faces do. The Cat was delighted to find that there were portraits on almost every record. It might even provide a picture where other sources fail.